February 05, 2013 08:27
Scientists say 500-year-old remains found under a parking lot in the city of Leicester are those of England's King Richard III.
University of Leicester researchers said at a televised news conference on Monday that it is "beyond reasonable doubt" that a battle-scarred skeleton unearthed last October is the king, who died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.
Osteologist (a scientist who studies bones) Jo Appleby said that a study of the bones provides "a highly convincing case for identification of" the 32-year-old king, who ruled England for only two years. DNA from the skeleton matches a sample taken from a distant living relative.
Richard was the last English monarch to die in battle. William Shakespeare depicted him in a play as a ruthless tyrant, but many historians say that image is unfair.
Historic accounts said the king had been buried in a Catholic church in Leicester; but the building was later destroyed and its location forgotten.
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